New Zealand 24-18 Fiji: Kiwis survive scare to set up Australia semi

By Sports Desk November 05, 2022

New Zealand benefited from a controversial penalty en route to a 24-18 defeat of Fiji after rallying to avoid a repeat of their quarter-final exit to the Bati at the previous Rugby League World Cup.

The Kiwis booked a mammoth last-four meeting with defending champions Australia but only after staring down another shock loss to Fiji in Hull.

The sole previous meeting between the sides had also come in the quarters five years ago, with New Zealand on the end of a 4-2 upset.

It quickly became clear this would not be another low-scoring affair, albeit only because Fiji raced into a 12-0 lead with a pair of superb tries from Maika Sivo and Kevin Naiqama.

Even when Ronaldo Mulitalo got the world's top-ranked side on the board, Naiqama ran in again after half-time to restore the underdogs' advantage.

But the Bati could not hold out, with Briton Nikora's response followed by a levelling try from Joseph Manu with 18 minutes to play.

Manu was involved again in the game's decisive moment as Fiji were harshly punished for a supposed strip that allowed Jordan Rapana to kick a penalty, putting New Zealand in front for the first time before the same man added a try at the death.

Related items

  • Cameron Green century defies New Zealand on opening day of series Cameron Green century defies New Zealand on opening day of series

    Cameron Green hit a defiant unbeaten 103 as Australia were restricted to 279 for nine on the opening day of the first Test in New Zealand.

    Matt Henry claimed four wickets as the home side’s seam attack took full advantage of a green wicket in Wellington.

    Henry claimed the wickets of openers Steve Smith for 31 and Usman Khawaja for 33 as Australia limped to 85 for four, the struggling Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head both managing just a single.

    Mitchell Marsh provided some support to Green, handed the pivotal number four spot after Smith’s elevation to open following the retirement of David Warner, before Henry had him caught behind for 40.

    Green hit 16 boundaries, accelerating through the second half of the day with wickets falling regularly at the other end with variable bounce and seam movement making batting difficult.

    Nathan Lyon was the last to go when he was caught behind to give Henry his fourth wicket just before stumps.

    There was still time for Green to reach his second Test century, moving through the 90s with three boundaries in the day’s final over.

  • Matt Peet relishing ‘fantastic’ challenge as Wigan return to Super League action Matt Peet relishing ‘fantastic’ challenge as Wigan return to Super League action

    Wigan head coach Matt Peet is relishing the “fantastic” challenge of returning to Betfred Super League action, less than a week after their record-equalling fifth World Club Challenge win over Penrith at the DW Stadium.

    Peet’s men meet Huddersfield back at home on Friday evening and he believes their ability to shut out the weekend’s raucous celebrations and maintain their unbeaten start to the new season will speak volumes for their chances of retaining the domestic title this season.

    Peet said: “It’s a challenge we’re excited about and I think we’ll learn a lot from our performance this week – whether we’re capable of going again and maintaining our standards.

    “We’ve spoken about the challenge of this week and everything that means in terms of coming out of Penrith and into Huddersfield and the threats that Huddersfield bring.

    “We always get everything out in the open and it’s a fantastic challenge and one I’m glad we’ve got. We’re glad we played Penrith and it was a great game, and we’re glad to playing at home again in front of our own fans.”

    Wigan will be without both Mike Cooper and Kruise Leeming for the clash with the Giants.

    Leeming is expected to miss at least the next two weeks with a foot injury, meaning a rare return to the first-team squad for Tom Forber.

    Peet joined his players for a celebratory day out on Sunday but was quick to return to the reality of plotting further improvements with the ambition of making nights like the sold-out Penrith fixture a more permanent affair.

    “I feel very proud,” added Peet. “I feel like that’s why you’re involved at a club like this and the reason the fans turn out in the numbers they do, because they love the big nights and the big occasions.

    “I feel like we have to build on that and make sure we have more nights like that, both for our club and the British game.

    “Hopefully it impacts us and we learn from it and it makes us better players. I would expect for players and coaches to come out of a game like that improved.

    “The challenge now is to back it up with another quality performance.”

  • Wigan-Leigh College too strong for Hurricanes in Youth Test Wigan-Leigh College too strong for Hurricanes in Youth Test

     Visiting English team Wigan-Leigh College prevailed 24-4 against Jamaica Hurricanes Academy U19s in a hotly contested test match at the Mona Bowl on Saturday. The historic encounter marked the first time a local U19 team faced foreign opposition on home soil.

    “The game was very physical and competitive encounter, nothing we didn’t expect,” said Wigan-Leigh head coach Kieron Purtill. “It was great to get the win and we hope to be able to repeat the fixture again at some point and help the growth of the game in Jamaica. It’s been a great experience for our team to travel to Jamaica, the numbers and standard of players is good to see.”

    Hurricanes started confidently, winning g a penalty for offside on their first set. However, they failed to find touch on the ensuing kick, allowing Wigan-Leigh to take a 4-0 lead when center Dylan Hughes scored in the right corner on the counterattack. Five minutes later, the lead extended to 10-0 when winger Toa Bayliss scored in the left corner, with Lucas Tyrer converting. Despite several chances, the Hurricanes failed to capitalize, and Wigan-Leigh further extended their lead to 16-0 when Kian Stanton’s agile footwork saw him breach the defense to score on 18 minutes. Josh Lee's successful conversion put the visitors firmly in control at halftime.

    The Jamaican team showed improved performance in both attack and defense in the second half. They opened the scoring when Shevaughn Smith displayed deft footwork to secure a try, narrowing the deficit to 16-4. However, despite more opportunities, the home team couldn't add further points, and their challenges were further compounded when prop Dominique Myers was red carded for dangerous contact, reducing them to 12 players. The visitors remained steady and sealed the game with tries from Daniel Foster and Kieron Cooke, making it a final score of 24-4.

    Hurricanes Coach, Antonio Baker, commented: “I am proud of our team regardless of the score line. The physicality was there but we lacked finesse and tactical skills to move the ball as we wanted to. We got in some good positions, but a lack of experience saw us give away our advantage. Wigan-Leigh capitalized on their own chances. Much thanks to Wigan-Leigh for a very spirited game and hope we will get more opportunities to play them again and other youth teams from England as this can only continue to help us develop.”

    Jamaica Hurricanes U19 Academy
    Gavon Bent, Dominique Myers, Fitzroy McLeod III, Tyreke Hutchinson, Jaleel Green, Khaeron Carlyle, Antwon Mckane, Matthew Craig, Brandon Gordon, Shevaughn Smith, Ahmeekique Miller, Maliq Morris, Ricardo Smith, Tyrone Davidson, Melvin Harris, Carl Thompson, Shaquille Drummond, Dowayne James, Oneil Britton

    Coach: Antonio Baker

    Wigan-Leigh College
    Ethan Sherlmerdine, Toa Bayliss, Diego Walker, Kallan Hilton, Lucas Tyrer, Josh Lee, Kian Stanton, Ben Gaskell, Rhys Clayton, Kieron Clarke, Daniel Foster, Callum Darbyshire, Harry Cawley, Daniel Alker, Freddie Findley, Spencer Dodd, Tyler Topping Higson

    Coach Kieron Purtill.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.